U.S. Mission to the United Nations, USUN Building New York City, FAPE, Architect

U.S. Mission to the United Nations – USUN Building New York

USUN Building Manhattan design by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, USA

Jun 23, 2011

U.S. Mission to the United Nations – USUN Building

FAPE Collaborates with the U.S. Department of State and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects on American Art Collection for the new U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City

New York, NY March 30, 2011 – The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) has collaborated with the U.S. Department of State and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA) to select and install a collection of American art that integrates, seamlessly, into the architecture and design of the new U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in New York City. The twenty-six story Mission opened in August 2010.

(left to right) Ron Gorchov, Totem, 2010, 19-feet-high, Painting: on linen with wood support, Support: bronze obelisk, Gift of the artist to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies; Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #832: A red spiral line on 2010, 40 x 126 ½ feet, Acrylic paint, An anonymous gift to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies:
USUN Building interior
photo : Paul Warchol

FAPE is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the United States image abroad through American art at U.S. embassies around the world. In 2007, the State Department approached FAPE about contributing art for the USUN Collection. Robert Storr, Chairman of FAPE’s Professional Fine Arts Committee and Dean of the Yale School of Art, was the Curator. FAPE and Storr worked closely with the Department and Gwathmey Siegel to select locations for art identifying more than 180 spaces throughout 19 floors.

Exterior of USUN Building by GSAA with UN Building beyond:
USUN Building New York
photo : Paul Warchol

“For 25 years, FAPE has worked with the U.S. Department of State to place American art in embassies around the world, representing the very best of American vision, dynamism, and culture,” said Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

FAPE’s first site-specific contribution to USUN was Wall Drawing #832: A red spiral line on blue by Sol LeWitt. The work has been installed inside the 70-foot-high rotunda located on the 22nd floor representational space. On this same floor, stands FAPE’s second site-specific commission, a sculpture by Ron Gorchov entitled Totem. Lynda Benglis also generously contributed a sculpture from her collection entitled D’Arrest, which has been installed on the 22nd floor as well.

The third site-specific piece in the Collection is by Odili Donald Odita, who has completed two murals entitled Light and Vision. These works greet visitors in the lobby and on the second floor before entering the Press Conference Room. All of the site-specific commissions are gifts of the artists, and FAPE funded the fabrication and installation for each work.

Alan Houser, Offering of the Sacred Pipe, 1980, Bronze sculpture; Odili Donald Odita, Light and Vision, 2010, 159 7/8″ x 310′ 10 5/8″, Acrylic latex wall paint on wall, Gift of the artist to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies:
USUN Building New York art
photo : Paul Warchol

More than 50 artists are represented in the Collection, and their work appears throughout the building, including: Josef Albers; Joe Andoe; Shahla Arbabi; Richard Artschwager; Jennifer Bartlett; Romare Bearden; Louisiana Bendolph; Mary Lee Bendolph; Lynda Benglis; Loretta Bennett; Christo; Chuck Close; Willie Cole; Robert Dash; Tom Downing: David Driskell; Richard Dupont; William Eggleston; Janet Fish; Tom Fitzharris; Ron Gorchov; Peter Halley; Jim Isermann; Yvonne Jacquette; Jasper Johns; Emilia and Ilya Kabakov; Alex Katz; Ellsworth Kelly; André Kertész; Polly Kraft; Barbara Kruger; Rachel Lachowicz; Jacob Lawrence; Michael Lebron; Julian Lethbridge; Tom Levine; Sol LeWitt; Roy Lichtenstein; Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle; Robert Mangold; Elizabeth Murray; Ken Noland; Odili Donald Odita; Catherine Opie; Loretta Pettway; Ellen Phelan; Martin Puryear; Robert Rauschenberg; Tim Rollins; James Rosenquist; Clifford Ross; Susan Rothenberg; Ed Ruscha; Joel Shapiro; Jack Shear; Laurie Simmons; Kiki Smith; Alan Sonfist; Frank Stella; Fred Tomaselli; Cy Twombly; Carrie Mae Weems; Terry Winters; and Jack Youngerman.

Jo Carole Lauder, FAPE Chairman, said, “FAPE is honored to have been asked by the State Department to participate in this historic project. Robert Storr has curated an outstanding collection of American art, which captures the diversity and richness of our country’s unique culture.”

Alexander Calder, Object in Five Planes, 1965, steel, Donated by the artist in the interest of world peace:
USUN Building New York
photo : Paul Warchol

The objective of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects was to design an iconic tower that could become a compelling and representative landmark for architecture and democracy. The tower refers abstractly to skyscraper precedents of base, middle, top, while presenting a composite, layered and interlocking composition of forms and materials, vertically and horizontally.

This composite approach allows the building to operate on three scales: at the pedestrian level, it exerts a positive civic presence through its volumetric, sculptural entrance structure; the tower, which responds in form and detail to the built environment of the UN district; and at the scale of the city, it functions as a memorable and inspiring addition to the Manhattan skyline.

Says GSAA principal Robert Siegel, “From the onset, we felt the responsibility that comes with being directly across the street from the original UN. The new USUN resonates formally and symbolically with the secretariat building, but it also makes a unique statement that’s appropriate both for the needs of our client and for the time in which we live.”

The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the United States image abroad through American art. Founded as a public-private, non-partisan partnership in 1986, FAPE works with the U.S. Department of State to contribute fine art to U.S. embassies around the world. FAPE’s donations include works by more than 200 preeminent American artists placed in over 140 countries. Headquartered in Washington D.C., FAPE has raised over $56 million in art and monetary contributions to date. For more information, please visit www.fapeglobal.org.

About Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

Founded in 1968, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects is a New York-based firm offering master planning, architectural, interior and product design services. Gwathmey Siegel has completed over four hundred projects for educational, healthcare, corporate, cultural, government and private clients throughout the United States and abroad.

The 40-person firm has an international reputation for architectural excellence, confirmed by more than 100 design awards, continuing recognition in the professional and general press, and inclusion in exhibitions and histories of contemporary architecture. Charles Gwathmey passed away on August 3, 2009 after battling cancer for several years; today, the firm leadership continues to be provided by Principal and Founding Partner Robert Siegel. The design team, led by the late Charles Gwathmey, Robert Siegel and Associate Peter Ogman, developed the design in direct response to strict security criteria.

USUN Building New York – FAPE American art installation images / information received 230611

USUN Building New York architect : Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

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